Fodor's Expert Review Sayyidna al-Husayn Mosque

Islamic Cairo North Historical
Free

One of the holiest sites in Egypt, this mosque was originally built by the Fatimids in the 12th century as a shrine and is said to contain the head of Husayn, the Prophet's grandson. Al-Husayn is the spiritual heart of the Islamic city. It is here that the president and his ministers come to pray on important religious occasions. Many of the Sufi orders in the neighborhood perform Friday prayers at al-Husayn. During the mulid (celebration) of al-Husayn, held during the Muslim month of Rabi'a al-Akhiri (the fourth month in the Muslim calendar), the square in front of the mosque becomes a carnival. During Ramadan, the area is packed with people from sunset to dawn.

The mosque itself is a 19th-century stone building heavily influenced by the Gothic Revival; only elements of older structures remain. On the south end of the southeast facade stands a partial wall with a gate, known as Bab al-Akhdar (The Green Gate), which probably dates from the Fatimid Dynasty. The mosque is... READ MORE

One of the holiest sites in Egypt, this mosque was originally built by the Fatimids in the 12th century as a shrine and is said to contain the head of Husayn, the Prophet's grandson. Al-Husayn is the spiritual heart of the Islamic city. It is here that the president and his ministers come to pray on important religious occasions. Many of the Sufi orders in the neighborhood perform Friday prayers at al-Husayn. During the mulid (celebration) of al-Husayn, held during the Muslim month of Rabi'a al-Akhiri (the fourth month in the Muslim calendar), the square in front of the mosque becomes a carnival. During Ramadan, the area is packed with people from sunset to dawn.

The mosque itself is a 19th-century stone building heavily influenced by the Gothic Revival; only elements of older structures remain. On the south end of the southeast facade stands a partial wall with a gate, known as Bab al-Akhdar (The Green Gate), which probably dates from the Fatimid Dynasty. The mosque is technically closed to non-Muslims. However, while large tour groups are not allowed to enter, there is more leeway for the individual traveler, provided that you avoid prayer times (noon or 1 pm) and Fridays. Women should cover their heads and everyone should cover shoulders and knees.

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Historical Free Mosque

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Hasan El-Adawy
Cairo, Cairo  Egypt

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